Russian people are entranced by the ice sculpture masterpieces from Harbin, Heilongjiang province, which currently adorn the parks and streets of Moscow.

“These ice sculptures from Harbin are so beautiful. They are our precious New Year presents from China,” local resident Anastasia Ivanova said at the opening ceremony of the Harbin Ice Sculpture Art Exhibition on Tuesday.

Arriving in Moscow on Sunday, 10 ice sculptors from Harbin immediately started working on blocks of ice in Sokolniki Park in northeastern Moscow.

The exhibition, on the theme of The Pearl in a Crown of Ice and Snow, will last till next Monday. Ten ice sculptures will be displayed inside the park and in the vicinity.

Along with decorations of Christmas and New Year lights, Russians first see two large ice sculptures, Friendship and Friendly City, at the gate of the park.

“We had a long discussion about the contents of the two works at the park gate,” said Zhu Xiaodong, deputy director of the Harbin Ice Sculpture Art Center.

“For the Friendship piece, we carved China’s ornamental column, or Hua Biao, and Russia’s cathedral to celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“Meanwhile, for Friendly City, our artists chose some landmarks and cultural symbols of Harbin city, such as the Flood Prevention Cenotaph, Harbin swans and the waves of the Songhua River,” Zhu said.

Zheng Jinnan, a teacher of ice sculpture at Harbin Second Vocational Middle School, is one of the 10 sculptors who worked on the Moscow exhibition.

He told that all the sculptures displayed in Moscow emphasize the beauty of their lines and details, which have colorful contents and exquisite artistic characteristics.

“Still, we met some difficulties in Russia, as the temperature of Moscow this winter reached above zero degree, which is too high for an ice sculpture piece,” Zheng said.

At the opening ceremony, Zheng showed his unique technique before Moscow residents, using an electric drill and ink to carve an ice stone into a beautiful blue lotus, winning applause from the Russians.

Yan Honglei, director of the Publicity Department of Harbin Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, said the ice and snow culture is an indispensable element of Russia.

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